nsa catalogue

Last week I spoke at the re:publica in Berlin. My talk was called “Pledge, Turn, Prestige – The Snowden Pitch” and was thirty eight minutes of fiction. The basic idea of the talk is that, back in 2008 the NSA had a business problem and so they approached me and my fictitious advertising agency to sort the problem out.

As far as I know everything I’ve written into the Snowden pitch is fictional, all except for one slide, the slide you can see above. What you can see there are actual NSA product names, for actual NSA products that all have unit prices. A couple of people have asked me how or why I started writing The Snowden Pitch, well now you know. Towards the end of 2013 I spotted this article on Spiegel Online which describes the NSA Catalog. The catalog can also be found on wikipedia so, as you can see, I’ve folded the real product names into the fiction of The Snowden Pitch.

I didn’t make those crazy product names up. The NSA did.

The catalog was the starting point for the talk: for if you have a catalog, with products that have unit prices then surely you’ll have a P&L and you’ll need customers. I thought that that would be an interesting place to start exploring a new way of looking at the whole Snowden story.

Here’s the talk, if you’ve not seen it. The NSA products and catalog come in around 30:00.

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